2) Juan Soto
If Corbin Burnes was priority one, Juan Soto is 1B. He's another player set to hit free agency at the end of the year, and with the Padres looking to lessen their payroll, there's a good chance they don't retain him past the 2024 season. If they don't plan on paying him the massive contract he's going to get, they might as well trade him.
Coming up with a mock trade to acquire Soto isn't easy. The Mets won't want to give a ton up for a guy who could be a rental, but it's Juan Soto. That's a guy you can pencil in right in the middle of the lineup and expect to be one of the best hitters in baseball. He's a guy who always seems to shine on the big stage, so having him play in New York City every night could get him to be the best version of himself that we've seen.
The Padres will have tons of suitors lining up to at the very least inquire regarding Soto's availabilty, and I fully expect the Mets to be among them. They've got the prospects to get a deal done, it all comes down to how far they're willing to go and if San Diego actually entertains moving him. They've got the space in their lineup for him, and he'd certainly help them compete for the postseason spot that eluded them in 2023.
Burnes is the best pitcher that could be available for the Mets to acquire, and Soto is likely the best hitter that they can make a trade for. If Burnes isn't available, the Mets turning all of their attention to Soto wouldn't be surprising.